Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Community Manager

Ask the Expert:Cisco Medianet

With Eric Yu and Michael O'Brien

Read the bioRead the bio

Welcome to the Cisco Support Community Ask the Expert conversation. This is an opportunity to ask questions and learn about Cisco Medianet solutions and architecture with Cisco Experts Michael O'Brien and Eric Yu. A medianet is a network optimized for rich media. Cisco's Medianet architecture is an end-to-end IP architecture that enables pervasive and quality rich media experiences. The medianet architecture offered by Cisco integrates a smarter network with smarter endpoints to simplify the deployment and operation of various media and applications, and to enhance the quality of experience. Working together, the architecture components provide adaptation, integration, and automation to scale visibility and policy from endpoints across the network.

  • Smarter network: Medianet technology embedded into routers and switches makes the network media - and application-aware.
  • Smarter endpoints: Medianet technology embedded into endpoints enables endpoints to become network aware and utilize intelligent network services.
  • Shared media services: Shared network resources and capabilities that enrich media experiences.

Eric Yu is a customer support engineer at Cisco responsible for supporting our leading-edge borderless network solutions. He has 10 years of experience in the telecommunications industry designing data and voice networks. Previous to his current role, he worked as a network consulting engineer for Cisco Advanced Services, responsible for designing and implementing Cisco Unified Communications for Fortune 500 enterprises. Eric holds CCIE certification on routing and switching #14590.

Michael O'Brien is a technical leader with 12 years of experience at Cisco and 20 years experience designing and deploying data and voice networks. He works in Technical Services helping customers on early field trials, beta testing, developing training, and troubleshooting for the Cisco Technical Assistance Center.

Remember to use the rating system to let Eric and Michael know if you have received an adequate response.

Eric and Michael might not be able to answer each question due to the volume expected during this event. Remember that you can continue the conversation on the community discussion forum shortly after the event. This event lasts through April 6th, 2012. Visit this forum often to view responses to your questions and the questions of other community members.

Marwan ALshawi

Hi Eric and Michael,

i have a quick question, is there any Cisco best practice design/config guide of medianet QoS, using the new QoS feature "DPI with metadata" ?



Hello there,

The existing Medianet Enterprise QoS 4.0 Design Guide provides a lot of best

practice design principles and considerations for deploying media on IP

networks. Cisco Metadata Flow optimizes the network to better integrate

media enabled endpoints by enhancing media awareness capabilities.

Check out the two reference links below for Medianet QoS  Design and

Medianet Metadata configuration.

Medianet Enterprise QoS 4.0  Design Guide.

Medianet Metadata Configuration

On 3/27/12 8:22 PM, "marwanshawi"

Message was edited by: Eric Yu

Gerardo Urrusti

Hello. Can you provide more insight on the Medianet? In specific, can I monitor my network and get statistics today? Do I need Media Monitoring for that?

Thank you


Hi Gerardo,

Medianet is an end-to-end architecture, in which Cisco is developing a number of different features in all of our products eventually.  Some products are further along with the rollout of these features than others.  To gather statistics on specific interface/media sessions... this would be the "media monitoring" feature of Medianet.  The best reference to determine what platforms support what features is the Medianet Datasheet.

For instance;  the first release of media monitoring came out in Nov 2010 on Cisco's ISR's (3900/2900)  [15.1(3)T] (UC or Data IOS images) and Cat3K switch running IOS image 12.2(55) SE or higher with package (LAN Base or higher).  If you can locate any of these devices in your network then you can use the media monitoring feature.

Media monitoring has 3-key features:

1) Performance Monitor - allows you to gather packet statistics on critical application such as voice and video or any UDP/TCP session which can be classified within IOS MQC and ACL's.  Use this link for more details;

2) Mediatrace - Mediatrace helps to isolate and troubleshoot network degradation problems by enabling a network administrator to discover an IP flow's path, dynamically enable monitoring capabilities on the nodes along the path, and collect information on a hop-by-hop basis. This information includes, among other things, flow statistics, and utilization information for incoming and outgoing interfaces, CPUs, and memory, as well as any changes to IP routes or the Cisco Mediatrace monitoring state.

3) IPSLA-Video Operation: IPSLAs can generating the high data rates, 4 to 16 Mbps, which are typical of video applications. To eliminate the protocol overhead and the process scheduling delays that contribute to the limitations of the earlier IP SLAs software to generate video traffic, the Cisco IP SLAs Video Operation feature makes the traffic generation and transmission routines platform dependent.



Hi guys!

I'm trying to understand what Medianet is for a while now and I must admit it is not an easy task as there is so much marketing and almost nothing about technical details. What I'm trying to say is that you guys are my last hope to understand what is hiding behind that magical term

1. MSI Service Discovery - Can you compare this feature with "option 150" that is used in complete Cisco UC portfolio? In particular, what advantage(s) it provides and does it mean that Cisco IP phones will migrate to "option 125"? Does DHCP in Cisco IOS supports "option 125" today? Is there any other server, other than Digital Media Manager, that uses MSI Service Discovery feature (or at least on any roadmap)?

2. What protocol is used for communication between two devices supporting MSI?

3. Why is location feature part of Medianet i.e. why SNMP is not enough to achieve same function? Is that feature supported only with CDP or it is working with LLDP too?



Hi Tenaro,

MSI is a set of API's (SDK) which both Cisco and 3rd party endpoints can use to provide media services interface into a Medianet capable network.   MSI gives endpoints the middleware needed to provide intelligent media services into the network.  One of the more common features for MSI is device discovery.  So now endpoint developer's can use the MSI SDK to allow the network to discover an endpoint using; CDP, LLDP, 802.1x, mDNS, DHCP.  Upon network discovery the nework can use auto-smart port to place this device into the appropriate VLAN, assign QoS and enable the device use other media services within the network.

MSI capabilities have just started to be rolled out within Cisco's products since endpoint developers need to build these new intelligent features into all of our product.  Our WebEx solution now uses MSI to interact with medianet media monitoring features.  So now a PC running the WebEx application can provide packet statistics INFO using performance monitor and mediatrace helping with network troubleshooting.  The WebEx application can also use MSI to provide metadata information throughout the network so that the network is now aware of the WebEx capabilities and can provide the proper QoS associated with WebEx video for instance.  WebEx video uses http to transport video and may be hard to identify WebEx video from common web surfing, but now through MSI and application ID using flow metadata to transport this INFO throughout the network all network devices can respond the this media type and maintain the proper QoS for this media type.

The objective for MSI is to build this capability into all of our products whenever possible.  Later this summer many of our video endpoints will have MSI capabilities and provide discovery, media monitoring and flow metadata features and provide media awareness into the network.  MSI and flow metadata work together to transport metadata into the network.  Metadata uses RSVP as a signaling method to pass media/application metadata upstream in the network.  So the Webex client can use MSI or RSVP API's to tell the network "Hello, I am a webex app give special treatment since I need to use video over http".

There will be many different uses for MSI/Metadata as endpoint developers bring to dream up uses for them.  The location example you noted is just one of the first use-cases.  Think of a green-field situation where tech's are install video camera's throughout a large campus.  A camera which supports MSI can now provide network discovery, auto-configuration and automatically register itself with the VSM.  The location information can be sent via MSI SDK to the VSM as part of its registration process.  The Cisco DMP works the same way, but auto-reg itself to the DMM.

Please note that since many of the medianet MSI features involve many different products which are rolling out at different times there may be a lag in documentation.  Many of these features are new and new product features a come out all the time.

Medianet is an end-to-end architecture so it involves many product within the network infrastructure and will include many solutions such as Cisco UC.  The best source for documentation is;


Hi Tenaro,

Medianet Architecture addresses three objectives for optimizing the network

for media awareness. It encompasses specific technologies that enable

administrators to optimize performance and to ensure end to end network

quality of services for media flows.

Medianet Objectives and Technology

1. Network Traffic Baseline and Trending

     - Performance Monitor

2. Fault Isolation

     - mediatrace

3. Service Validation

     -IP SLA -Video Operations

     -Metadata Flow with Media Service Interface

     -Location Services with MSI

From the perspective of Unified Communications, the combination of DHCP

option 150 and CDP helps the endpoint obtain a configuration from CUCM then

gain the access to appropriate network services (QoS, Voice VLAN) from the

attached access switch. SNMP and physical Location services in a UC

environment is restricted to implementations with Cisco Emergency Responder

where a central server polls and correlates static location attributes with

discovered devices. The endpoint and application (CUCM) never really learns

its physical location from the network.

Using MSI location services on the DMP,  this enable the device and its

application (DMM) to learn  location information from the attached network

device via CDP. On the DMM application, location information for the DMP is

now available with out using a separate SNMP NMS application. Due to system

resource constraints and development complexities, it might be easier

sometimes for simple endpoints like the DMP to leverage CDP services thru

middleware stack such as the Media Service Interface.



On 4/1/12 10:12 PM, "tenaro.gusatu.novici"

John Ventura
Community Manager


I am interested in understanding what Network Management Solutions support Media Monitoring features now a days. I wold also know which cisco platforms and software releases are supported.

Looking forward for a prompt response.

- John

Hi John,

The current NMS that supports media monitoring includes Cisco Prime

Collaboration Manager and Cisco Prime Assurance Manager.

From a third party NMS supportability perspective, we have been testing the

ActionPacked¹s ³Live Action Server² for performance monitoring.

Here is a brief list of the available platforms that support medianet

monitoring features:

Cisco ISR 15.1(3)T with either the UC or Data License

Cisco Cat3K 12.2(58)SE IPBASE+

Cisco CAT4K 15.1(1)SG IPBASE

Please check out the medianet media monitoring portal on CCO for more

details on platform and NMS support, specifically see the section title

³Relevant  Solutions Products.²


Medianet System Requirement Datasheet



On 4/3/12 3:04 PM, "john.ventura73"